Obituaries

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Resident of Alameda

Sylvia died peacefully at Alameda Hospital. She was preceded in death by her parents, Antonia and Giovanni Zanaria, her sister Linda Zanaria, her husband William James Gates and her son William John Gates. 

She is survived by her daughter Carol Gates Olney Dean, her grandsons Kevin Hulbert (Tess), Phillip W. Dean, William Scott Dean (Maria), her granddaughter Natalie Devora (Lynn Wood) and great-grandchildren Jewel Devora Wood, Kyle Dean and Geraldine (Den) Hulbert. 

There are countless other nieces, nephews and a myriad of friends and acquaintances both in the U.S. and Italy who remain behind to remember her fabulous Italian cooking (for which she rarely shared recipes), her gorgeous garden and her fun stories about Alameda. Among other things, she saw the Posey Tube built to replace a wooden bridge; at 16 she worked on the Midway at Neptune Beach; in the ’50s she saw South Shore and Harbor Bay (Bay Farm Island) created by dredging the San Leandro estuary (replacing the truck farms which once grew “sustainable, organic produce”). 

One of her favorite stories involved her 1932 trip to Italy with her father. A brief stop in Chicago involved riding in Al Capone’s car and later meeting him, long before he became infamous.

She always involved herself with school PTAs and kept an immaculate house in which she often entertained with sumptuous dinners. In later years she traveled frequently to Italy visiting relatives in the Piemonte and Genova regions and traveling throughout Europe. In addition to being a homemaker she worked for 13 years as a bookkeeper at what is now known as Holy Names University in Oakland. 

For the past 12 years, Phillip Dean was her “right-hand man” driving her around, running errands, maintaining the garden and in the past five years, serving as her daytime caretaker and supervisor of other caregivers. A benefit of that is that she was able to remain in her own home until late February of this year. 

Her last few months have seen her in the Golden Age Center on Harbor Bay — her room overlooking the Bay where she could watch airplanes take off from Oakland Airport. The administrators, caregivers and clients all came to appreciate her. 

A longtime colleague and friend of Carol’s shared this wonderful observation of Sylvia: “Sylvia’s strength was inspiring, and her gracious manners were always a model to follow. I’m sure she is busily arranging Heaven to make it more to her liking.” Amen.

No funeral arrangements are planned. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS), Holy Names University or a charity of your choice. 

Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services   FD 1408
865-3755   greermortuary.com

Resident of Alameda

Born in Montreal, Canada, Maisie lived in many countries throughout her life before passing away quietly in Alameda. 

Known for her kindness and generosity, she loved to cook, play card games, and watch ice hockey as a San Jose Sharks fan. She was an avid golfer well into her 80s, sinking three holes-in-one over the years. Always willing to help, she touched many lives and will be missed.

Maisie is survived by her husband John, daughters Carol and Barbara, two granddaughters and two great-grandchildren. The eldest of eight, her survivors also include two sisters and four brothers.

Always unassuming, Maisie requested a private service. Those wishing to honor her may make donations to their favorite charities in her memory. For further information, contact Harry W. Greer, funeral director FDR-745.

Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services     FD-2139
1415 Oak St (510) 522-6020

Leslye Mae Robey passed away peacefully in her home Sunday, June 29, 2014, surrounded by her family. Leslye spent her childhood in San Jose with parents Harold and Edna Reese, brothers Jack and Al “Charlie” and her sister Pat.She graduated from San Jose High School and attended San Jose State where she met her future husband of 61 years, James Robey, who preceded her in passing.

Leslye is survived by three children, Steve Robey of Bellingham, Wash.; Mike Robey of Alameda; and Erin Gabriel of Rohnert Park and daughters-in-law Marcia Robey, Jerene Meissert and Vickey Rico.  She was the proud and loving grandmother of five grandchildren: Kate (Jason), Beau (Jill), Marine, Maggie and Kevin and great-grandmother of Riley and Eloise.

In addition to being a great wife, mother and creating a home that was always a warm and welcoming place, Leslye worked for Alameda County for more than 30 years. She started as a clerk in the tax collector’s office before moving to the Oakland Municipal Court as a courtroom clerk. The friends she made in those offices remained friends through her final days.

Leslye was a vibrant and giving person with a great sense of humor.  She loved cooking, travel and, above all else, friends and family. She and Jim explored China soon after it opened to the west and took their whole family to Hawaii to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Leslye was a proud member of the Shirley Valentine Club. She and her girlfriends managed to get away every year for quality girl time and the viewing of the movie. In her later years, she enjoyed having red wine and chocolate in the afternoon (it was so decadent).

She practiced yoga and meditation before they were popular.  While she held strong opinions, she was never judgmental. She was tolerant and progressive, with just a pinch of conservative thrown in. She volunteered with and mentored teen-age single moms and gave much time to her homeowners association. 

She passed bravely in her own home on her own terms at 87, surrounded by her loved ones. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.Contributions can be made in Leslye’s memory to the Alameda Midway Shelter or the Friends of the Alameda Free Library. 

A celebration of her life is pending. If you wish to be notified when plans are complete, send an email to her family at Celebration4Les@Yahoo.com.

Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services    FD1408
greermortuary.com   865-3755

 

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